Iranian jihad update from Gulfnews, with thanks to Sr. Soph. While the Iranians failed to achieve this objective at the time Saddam was toppled, there is no indication that they aren’t still trying:
London: A British newspaper revealed last week that western intelligence officers had uncovered an Iranian conspiracy – formulated seven months before coalition forces swept through Iraq – for taking over Southern Iraq.
The Daily Telegraph reported the conspiracy, established in the headquarters of Iran’s spy agency Etelaat, was to extend Iranian influence in the south as soon as Saddam Hussain was forced to flee.
Saddam’s Republican guard all but fled Basra as British troops advanced on Iraq’s second biggest city. Shiite paramilitary group, the Badr Brigade, forced to take refuge in Iran during Saddam’s rule, flooded back across the border to take control of deserted government offices.
Several southern cities became so saturated that the British military were forced to work with the militia men.
“Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims cross the border every year heading to Shiaa religious festivals in Najaf and Kerbala,” a British official told the Daily Telegraph. “It was impossible to distinguish the genuine pilgrims from those up to no good.”
Comparisons between the Iranian backed Lebanese militant group Hizbollah and the Badr Brigade have drawn, and if next weeks referendum results in a “yes” vote to approve Iraq’s draft constitution (with its federal incantations) there is a possibility that “a semi-state that is more loyal to Tehran than Baghdad” could be created.